after picking up my mother's high blood pressure medication from the clinic, my father and i went to the assembly square k-mart to pick up the 2 steel shelves i'd ordered. at $23 a piece and capable of holding 800 lbs. each, it was a real bargain. when it comes to the staff the store is a real mess, and it took a while before somebody came by to help us.

loading the 2 boxes into the car, i noticed they were surprisingly light. instead of 800 lbs., the box said only 200 lbs. also the shelves weren't reinforced with particle boards but only a thin metal surface. so either i purchased the wrong shelves, or k-mart made a mistake. either way, i promptly returned them and went in search of the shelves i was supposed to buy.

i found them (there was 2 left) but they were $43 a piece. the $23 price was a special online deal. so after returning home, i went online and ordered them again. i did make a mistake the first time around, something i wouldn't repeat this second time. however, the website said there was only one left so i could only get one. i'll go pick it up within the next few days.

eliza was back in town for the holidays (the last time i saw her was back in june 2011). in the evening i went over to the apartment she rented in jamaica plain. originally i was going to bike there, but it was dark and cold and i didn't want to get there all sweaty and tired from the 40 minute long ride. instead i took the subway, which took the longest at nearly 60 minutes, but it was mostly sitting around waiting for my stops to arrive.

eliza was out picking up some cuban takeout, so her mother lucy greeted me at the door instead. i also met eliza's little boy theo, whom i'd seen before back when he was just a toddler. he wasn't a shy child, and spoke perfect english, which i was curious about since he lives in france (apparently he also speaks fluent french, which i wasn't able to hear). earlier they went to go see the nutcracker while jeremy went to the MFA. i also met eliza's french manny jeremy, who was bilingual in french and english. i thought the place she rented would be something small, but this furnished first floor apartment was downright palatial at approximately 1200-1400 square feet (eyeball estimate).

eliza's mother left for amesbury soon after dinner. eliza put theo to bed even though it was hours before his usual bedtime (he had a long day so he was tired, no crying though, went to sleep like a champ). the 3 of us remaining "adults" chatted in the dining room over peppermint tea, raspberry soda (which tasted like cough medicine but i kept drinking it because it was the only thing to drink), and cookies. we talked about early exposure to television and tablet computers, the wickedness of walking over graves, diamonds made from cremated remains, french residential noise laws, levels of parisian rudeness, french scarves, vampire stories, types of french visas, english accents, what wines go with which food, tangerine vs. clementine, japanese vs. the french, chinese ancestor worship, iphone wifi access, french idyllic countryside living, sherlock holmes (cumberbatch version), and getting into lost.

i left shortly after 11:00, didn't want to get home too late and miss the trains. the subways was populated by mostly young people in various states of inebriation. i got on the wrong end of the orange line so had to walk the whole length of the platform once we arrived at downtown crossing so i could reach the red line connection. i got out at harvard square figuring it'd be more scenic, but the place was dead, other than the lines of waiting taxis.